Comparing a good private high school with a very good public high school, which will be more stressful and depressed? Private school has more resources and generally care more about students, the same kid could have a happier school life and lower stress, is it true?

I think it’s more important to compare the quality of the high school education, preparedness for colleg, EQ etc. college admission is just one factor, the difference between Harker and a top public school might be similar for an average kid with an average family


In fact, UCs must admit certain percentage of students from every high school (top 3% or 9%, I forget). If UCs are your target schools, then going to a mediocre school absolutely boosts your chances.


Ok. So what about gifted kid, average family?


Gifted kid with any family should go to a school where the kid feel challenged and also comfortable. I think Nueva could be a better choice since the kid can socialize with similar kids.

Honestly, I would not worry too much about academics for the gifted kid, other than making sure he is well educated on all subjects. Some gifted kid maybe good at math and poor at language. But social skills and emotional health should be high priority for parents

Also it depends on the kid’s career goal and where the gift is. Computer science might be a good place for gifted kid since he can make a fortune in his teens or 20s when the parent is still young to reap the benefit :pizza:. Is there any high school with strong computer science program?


UC might be not the target school for many parents, but I heard that a typical kid from a typical family on this forum goes to UC.

We have to face reality. Most of you guys will have a kid going to UC, whether you like or not


My kid goes to lynbrook and she and her friends are happy with their school lives. After all, this is a public school which you can be admitted to as long as you live in the school boundary.
In addition, school grading is not too strict.
I don’t think there is any high school in this area which let you sleep for 8 hours in junior year.
Do you seriously think your kids lives become easy if you transfer them from monta/lynbrook to cupertino high? I highly doubt it. I don’t see much difference between cupertino and lynbrook.


How many hours do high school juniors sleep? Other than asian kids, are there other kids sleeping so little?


5-6AP classes with serious extra curricular activities, i guess most them get 6 hours of sleep during busy season. They probably can get more sleep over the weekend but that won’t help much.


I don’t think there is even a single kid in Cupertino high who takes 5-6 AP classes in junior year. They are still managing to get into Stanford, MIT etc. (may be not as many as from Lynbrook). What 5-6 APs do they generally take in Lynbrook? I thought you cannot take more than one science class per year.


My kid is not yet junior.
However, what I heard (not only from Lynbrook parents but also from other public schools like Los Altos high) was “AP calc/statistics, AP CS, AP science, AP US history, AP English, (AP Chines/Spanish)”. Now that this is what I heard from a few of my friends, I am not sure how many kids really take this many APs.
I personally believe this is too much and up to 4 AP in junior year makes sense to me.
However, at the end of the day, what matters is what other kids who compete against you achieved… :frowning:

Anyway, my point was “I don’t think there would be meaningful difference in terms of school life between Lynbrook and Cupertino”. Cupertino high in my mind is as competitive as Lynbrook and I guess there won’t be much difference in college admission result between them, either.


Time to use my UCB admission link to see which HS sent more kids to Berkeley.


That is really unhealthy.


@zensri, your comments here were very helpful. We went to the open house, and looking at it through the lens you framed here, it does really look like Harker controls the kids experiences in a 0 to 100 way. Like you’re either all-in or all-out, but I’m not sure how much you can just dabble and try things out. If you want to do certain activities, you have to also take the class for them because it’s the only way you can do them well. My husband called it “coached experiences.” Is that something your friends would agree or disagree with?

On the positive side, they’re not skeptical of gifted kids–you can walk in say “here’s where my kid’s at in math/Comp sci/etc.” and they don’t give you that “you’re going to be a real PIA to deal with” attitude but a very positive “you can fill in that gap by taking this summer class, and then jump right over to this other class, and yes, we have plenty of classes for him to take. Here’s the list.”

The teachers we met were definitely very friendly and personable and seemed like they’re good with the kids.

The $45K price tag is keeping me up at night. :frowning: (No joke)


Education is big big burden for parents. Sigh…


How much can Harker help a regular kid with regular motivation? In what ways?

I think 2 kinds of kids will get real benefit: one is the kids from famous or wealth family, the other is the highly motivated or highly talented kids. For other kids, it could be a nice education and a good social network. Is it worth the 45k per plus other activity fees and donations?


I’m having trouble feeling like it is. That money would pay for an Ivy league education. If it’s one or the other, seems like the money should go towards a college degree.

A middle of the road solution seems like Bellarmine. $20K now, $20K for each year of college.


Bellarmine is an all boys school. Is it good for the kids?


Yes. Every person I know who went there or has a kid there is/was happy. You do have to take religion classes, and my understanding is that they prioritize admitting Catholic students, so it’s not a viable option for everyone.

The kids I’ve met from there have all been very nice and polite and the men have all been gentlemanly. I’m sure there are probably exceptions, but overall, it seems like a very good school.

It has drawbacks for us, though–in the subject my son excels at, they have limited classes left for him to take, and they don’t coach competitions in this area. I’m not sure that the latter bothers him as much as it bothers me. So going there means switching focusses for him.


@Terri, I am glad I could be of help. I was told that you have to join the class for the activity so that they can help you develop it into something you can put on your college app. Seems fair because the teachers will be spending extra time and need to get paid for that.


My observation is that people who went to private schools are usually nicer and more polite than public schools. Does the niceness and politeness translate into better success in life and career?

Another concern for high school transfer is that the kid will lose all the friends from previous years. Is this a big loss that would make the overall benefit of a private high school questionable? We need to evaluate the overall benefit/loss in terms of lifetime career and personal life satisfaction